Nikolaihof Wachau

The precincts of Nikolaihof still contain remains of the Roman stronghold of Favianis and the early Christian Agapit basilica, where in A.D. 985 a synod was convened on the authority of Bishop Pilgrim of Passau. In 1075 the earlier property became the central administrative headquarters of the Passau monastery. Originally called St Nikola, the present-day chapel was built by the Augustinian canons of this monastery. Wine has been produced here since the time of the Celts. The first documented evidence of this dates from the time of St Severin and the Romans around A.D. 470. These historic surroundings, steeped in centuries of winemaking traditions, have a powerful influence on the labours of the Saahs family, the present owners of Nikolaihof since 1894. Alongside its other agricultural, fruit-growing, and woodland property, the family business has 20 hectares of vineyards, chiefly of Riesling and Gruner Veltliner, with smaller quantities of Weissburgunder, Feinburgunder and Neuburger. The grapes are harvested separately by variety and by vineyard, are fermented in oak vats, with ambient yeasts, matured without any additives, and bottled on ‘fruit days’ during a waxing moon. The pursuit of quality begins in Nikolaihof years before the harvest takes place in the vineyards. Exceptionally old vines, adherence to bio-dynamic guidelines and avoidance of heavy yields are essential elements in this. This philosophy is continued in the simple, natural methods employed in the cellar right through to the tavern where the wine is served.


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